As we close 2021 it has been another tough year for Frome Town Band. It is the first year that we have 100 members in our 100 club, this helps support the tuition and exams for our beginners and intermediate players. You can find out who our 100 club winners are on the 100 club tab on our website.
January – March, we witnessed another lockdown but we persevered, we continued to grow and rehearsed our music through skype and zoom. We even managed to put five of our intermediate players through their Grade 1 and 2 exams in which they all passed.
In the summer term we eventually got back into our rehearsal space with small bubbles and it was great to be able to play as a unit again. We enjoyed Sunday afternoon practice busks in the bandstand, in which members of the public enjoyed listening to music while sitting on their picnic blankets. We supported Frome Lions and Carnival fetes, we performed in the bandstand for Frome Festival with all members of the band performing, for some of them it was their first performance to the public. The summer term also meant that we could start our schools brass programme, this has been in the pipeline just before covid struck back in 2020, we gained grants from Pride of Britain Award, FAST, Frome Town Council etc to be able to give Year 4 pupils at Berkley School brass tuition for 12 weeks which is free to the school.
In September, we got together with the old Frome Town Band members to join them in a memorial concert for Tony Light, who was the musical director/conductor many years ago. We played a selection of old favourites with “The Floral Dance” being one of the most popular choices. It was an unique experience that I am sure we will not forget. We also started our schools brass programme in Vallis, and we are excited that we now have four new members which have joined the beginners band playing cornet and trombone.
November / December is our busy season, we started off by joining in with the towns remembrance service, Harley played Last Post to perfection and the band played “Abide with me” and “Sunset”. End of November it was Frome’s Christmas light switch on, we performed “Deck the Halls” live on ITV News West as they interviewed the current and past Mayor. We also remembered Terry Mounsher, who was a crucial member of the band, he started Frome Town Youth Band with Jim Boulter back in 1997. He taught and encouraged many past and present members of the band and we want to extend our condolence's to his family. Harley performed Last Post at his funeral which was dedicated to the time that he put into the band.
We supported Frome Lions Tree of Remembrance Christmas Carol service, which was well attended. We entertained North Bradley WI and Keyford Heights for a mini Christmas concert, with Christmas music and carols. We performed a small carol service at Corinth and it was lucky that the weather stayed dry.
Our Christmas concert was held again at Wesley Methodist Church, we were lucky that we could still go ahead and perform due to the new covid variant which cancelled Vallis school attending. Our Christmas Programme design was won by Freddie in Mars class, Vallis. We played some old favourites : We will rock you, When I fall in love, Come follow the band, The clog dance, Tinsel tunes, Lonely this Christmas, Marys boy child, Do they know its Christmas, White Christmas”, Fairy tale of New York and Silver Bells.
During our concert we gave out our annual awards :
Most Improved Female Award – Karen Coleman
Most improved Male Award – Phil Sefton
Best Newcomer Award – Thomas Marjoram
Musician of the Year Award – Nicki Warden
Stannard Award - Dalma Luttrell
Tony Light Award – Emilee Duggan
We would like to thank Rupert Kirkman from Frome FM, he recorded the event for us and we were one of three music groups who featured on his Boxing Day programme at 1pm.
The week before Christmas was slightly crazy, we performed carols outside to two nursing homes, Belmont Villa and Greenhill Grange. We then busked to raise funds to support the band at Asda and Christmas Eve in town. We greatly appreciate everyone who donated to us. Lastly to close 2021, members of the band played to patients and staff at Frome Community Hospital on New Years Eve, we thought that this would be a lovely way to see out the year and perhaps make it a tradition.
We are lucky that we are able to perform as a community band and support Frome. We welcome any new or experienced players that would like to join us, please get in touch. We would like to extend our best wishes to everyone for 2022.
FTB 2021 Review
Busy time ahead of Christmas
We have a busy 8 weeks ahead of Christmas, it is great to be able to play to the public again. We start off with Remembrance parade in Frome Town, then we help out at the Christmas light switch on and the Tree of remembrance at Rook Lane Chapel ends our November stint. Then we have a whole range of Christmas concerts, carols and busking to end another year. We hope that some of our followers will be able to join us.
Remembering Tony Light
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of former Frome Town Band Member Tony Light on the 9th June. A wonderful service took place on the 30th June at Mendip Crematorium, where a small but mighty gathering of some of his ex-player companions came together to play three of his favourite tunes, it was an incredibly emotional send off, but one that he would have dearly loved. We would like to thank everyone who played on that day and all those who took the time to contact the family with such heart-warming memories and comments.
After playing Trumpet in his youth, then joining the Bugle and Drum chore in his home town of Salisbury, Tony eventually joined The Frome Town Band in the early 70’s under the leadership of Dave Hayward, he played Cornet for his entire band life and was also known to hold the marching beat on the big Bass Drum at various carnivals. Tony saw the band grow in numbers and ability, earning himself the affectionate nickname of Cuddles during his time, for which he is still referred as to this day. Playing with the band as they moved up from Third division to Championship section, he was instrumental (pardon the pun) in the organisation and librarianship of the band as Band Master until he finally retired in the early 2000s, playing with the then Frome Town Youth Band after the main Band disbanded in the late 1990’s. During his years with the band he also took on the role of Conductor/Teacher of the then Beginner’s group, helping many youth and adult learners transition in to the main band, including his Daughter, Anita. He was a much loved, respected and fun-loving member, having impacted so many players and guests through the years, he was an integral part of Frome Town Band for such a long time and we will all miss him immensely.
On the 12th September in Frome Victoria Park’s Band Stand, a joint memorial concert is taking place with the current Frome Band and many of the ex-players from Tony’s years coming together to honour him. The pictures show Tony with the band during those years along with his fun side during the 1980’s Murhardt trip, he is pictured in one with his wife June (centre right) and their German hosts.
Frome Festival 11th July 2021
We had a fabulous time in Victoria Park playing on the last day of Frome Festival, so we couldn't order nice weather but we are very thankful to all our wonderful resilient supporters who braved the spots of rain and downpours at one point.
The main band started the set with a traditional brass band march "True and Trusty", we played our new set of English folk songs which we learnt over zoom at the start of the pandemic, Hymn to the fallen (Saving Private Ryan theme tune ) - one of the band's favourites and others.
It was then time for the beginners band - for some of them it was their very first performance and we thought they did brilliantly! "Ode to Joy", "When the saints" and some nursery songs.
Intermediate band then took up the reins - "Morning has broken", "Amazing grace" (was amazing!) and finished with "Camptown Races".
Main band came back for the final set, we started with the "Floral Dance" which was dedicated to Tony Light who passed away recently, he was was the conductor of the band in the late 1970's, then followed with a suite from the "Sound of Music" (raindrops on roses...literally at this point), "Angels" and we finished with the "Three lions" - football anthem to wish them luck in the final. This was sight read by many who couldn't make the last rehearsal.
We have really enjoyed getting together to get ready, we only had 4 weeks as a whole main band before this performance due to covid measures. Looking forward to our summer performance - please check the calendar for more information.
Practice in the Park
Frome Town Band have restarted practice since we have come out of lockdown using the bandstand in Victoria park. Until the next step in the road map, beginners, intermediates and main band are playing every Wednesday night from 6-9pm.
It has been so good to practice face to face and we have also had some lovely comments from our community.
We are also practicing in groups of six most Sundays from 3pm, playing a range of music from marches to our busking set.
We look forward to seeing you in the park.
ASDA donation to our Frome Festival tombola
We want to extend our thanks to Frome Asda for the generous donation to our tombola store which we will have with our performance of "Brass in the Park" on Sunday 11th July 2-4pm. This will help us to raise important funds as we have not been able to perform this last year. We are excited to be able to perform again and looking forward to outdoor rehearsals which begin on Weds 21st April.
FTB AGM 2021
Frome Town Band held their Annual General Meeting on the 23rd March 2021 on zoom, it was very productive and we gained two new committee members who we look forward to working with this year.
We had a cheque presented to us from the 100 club for £600. We now have 100 members in our 100 club and Frome Town Band are extremely grateful for their continuous support especially during the last year.
FROME TOWN BAND VIRTUAL SIX NATIONS JOURNEY
Members continued with band rehearsals on zoom at the start of the year due to the pandemic and still in lockdown. Although it was quite difficult to stay in time with the technical delay, we are a community band having fun.
We were challenged by our Musical Director to complete our very own virtual journey of the six nations whilst the rugby tournament was on. Our version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot was made into a video and went onto our social media and was shared around Frome on FaceBook. Members practiced and videoed their pieces; we are looking forward to our virtual story which will include some clips of our efforts which will be out soon.